Episode 11 : 11/02/2016

The art of communication

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Carl Richards, CFP

Author, artist, columnist and speaker

Hosts:

Ben D. Jones
Managing Director – Intermediary Distribution
BMO Global Asset Management

Matt Smith
Managing Director
BMO Global Asset Management

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The art of communication

On today’s episode, we talk with author, artist, columnist, and certified financial planner Carl Richards. His New York Times column Sketch Guy has become famous in the financial advising community, as his sketches have the unique ability to distill complex concepts into simple diagrams clients can understand. We discuss the advantages that human advisors have over automated investment services, why simplicity can be powerful, and tips for communicating financial concepts to your clients.

“I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

In this episode:

  • Communicating using visual tools
  • How to embrace your true value as an advisor
  • Mistakes that advisors make in communicating with clients
  • How simplicity can have power when it’s done right

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Transcript

Carl Richards – If you think your value is in taking somebody through a 17 question risk tolerance questionnaire and spitting out a portfolio and plugging them into it, you are going to go out of business. That can be done far cheaper, and to be honest, maybe even better than we do. What can’t be done and what I think is happening as a result of the automated investment services of robo-advisors uniquely human connection, and as long as decisions about money are linked to emotion, then there is a role for empathy and trust. Real financial advisors have nothing to fear.   

Ben Jones – Welcome to Better conversations. Better outcomes., presented by BMO Global Asset Management. I’m Ben Jones.  

Matt Smith – And I’m Matt Smith.  In each episode we’ll explore topics relevant to today’s trusted advisors, interviewing experts, and investigating the world of wealth advantage from every angle. We’ll also provide actionable ideas designed to improve outcomes for advisors and their clients.  

Ben Jones – To learn more, visit us at bmogam.com/betterconversations. Thanks for joining us.   

Disclosure – The views expressed here are those of the participants and not those of BMO Global Asset Management, its affiliates or subsidiaries.   

Ben Jones – Today, our guest is Carl Richards, certified financial planner, and the creator of the “Sketch Guy” column in the New York Times. He’s also a columnist for Morningstar Advisors and a frequent key note speaker for financial planning conferences around the world. Through Carl’s simple sketches, he makes complex financial concepts very easy to understand. Carl’s sketches served as the foundation for both his books, “The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to be Smart About Your Money”, and “Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things With Your Money.”  

Matt Smith – Ben spoke with Carl over the phone in Park City, Utah. They discussed the advantages that human advisors have over automated investment services, why simplicity can be powerful, and tips for communicating financial concepts to your clients. It may be beneficial to view some of Carl’s sketches while you’re listening to this episode. So go to bmogam.com/betterconversations for links to his column and website.  

Ben Jones – Carl, welcome to the show.   

Carl Richards – Thanks for having me. Excited to talk today.   

Ben Jones – For our audience, that doesn’t maybe know a little bit about you, I always like to get people’s back story. Could you just tell us a little bit about what kind of brought you into the world of financial planning and advising?   

Carl Richards – Yeah, it’s kind of a funny story. I, in college, my wife and I — while I was going to school full-time, we were looking for a job for me, and we found a job in the paper that we thought was a security guard job. And I thought, gosh, that will be great. I can work at night and still take a full load of class during the day, and this will be great. I went to apply for the job and it turns out it was the ad said securities, not security, so I sort of stumbled into the industry quite by accident, but quickly I learned that this was about way more than spreadsheets and calculators. It was about people’s values and the way they behaved and the way they interacted with money was sort of almost an expression of values and quickly I figured out that — what a cool place to be when you can help people sort of make some of the most important decisions in their lives with a little more clarity and hopefully a little better than they would have if you weren’t there. So that’s why I stayed. So I got into the industry by accident, stayed quite on purpose. That’s over 20 years ago and during that time, I worked at the biggest brokerage firms in the country. Had my own independent RIA firm. So I’ve been independent, I’ve worked at big brokerage firms, and everything in between, and the last six to seven of those I’ve mainly been sort of just a relatively public advocate for what I think of as the secret society of real financial planners or real financial advisors. And that work shows up, as you mentioned, in the New York Times every week and Morningstar Advisor and Investment News and those sort of outlets.   

Ben Jones – Carl’s sketching illustrates financial concepts in a simple way, as if they were drawn on the back of a napkin. Financial advisors everywhere have used Carl’s sketches in marketing materials, social media posts, client materials, et cetera, because of the power they have to help clients understand and remember financial concepts. Carl explains how he got started drawing these sketches, and the goal he has with each one.   

Carl Richards – Maybe like the origin story of the images was an experience that all of your listeners will relate to. Here we are, financial advisors, attorneys, CPAs, anybody who gives advice for a living, particularly about areas that other people or clients think of as complex. Sitting across the table from them, trying to explain a concept that you are sure they need to understand in order to make a good, educated decision. It’s critical that they understand this piece of information and despite your best intentions, and even as good as we are at this, we often use language that’s not hitting. And I remember that having that experience. I had it multiple times. I still have it, but remember one time, early on, looking over and seeing these blank looks on the client’s face. And I knew these people really well and I knew how important it was and I care deeply about them making the right decision. And so out of an act of almost desperation, I remember I stood up — there was a whiteboard in the room — and I stood up, and I said, no like this. And I just drew like a couple of boxes and some arrows, and maybe a circle or two or something, and I remember specifically them saying, oh, I get it. Right? I understand now. And I got sort of addicted to that experience like the light bulb going on through the use of really simple visual tools. And I didn’t know it at the time, but I kept trying to find that experience again, and again, and again, and that’s what’s led to — the New York Times thing’s been going on almost seven years now, and it’s every week, and so every week I’ve got to come up with one of those images. It’s been really a cool experience for me and hopefully helpful for people.   

Ben Jones – Yeah, and I think seven years, you’ve put out a lot of financial art, if you will, although I will say some of your drawings now have gotten much more into just life decision making, as opposed to just financial concepts. But what is it originally that you kind of hoped your drawings would do for the readers of the column, and what has been the response of folks to your work.   

Carl Richards – So I think of the images as a couple of things; number one; the good ones operate as both a shortcut and a souvenir. So if I explain that, they operate as a shortcut to the idea. So we can maybe get there a little quicker than we would if we didn’t have an image. And then they also operate as a souvenir of the experience. So like if I’m an advisor and I’m explaining diversification, I think, oh, this image, if they walk out — one way to remember it would be like this, right. And you draw the diversification image on the board. My hope is that clients would walk out and go, okay, I now have a souvenir that will help me remember that experience.   And then the third way I think of them is as conversation starters. Sometimes I think of them as conversation grenades. Like you throw them into a room and conversations break out. So that’s the other element of them, is I find them to be a really powerful tool, and that’s why advisors buy the digital ones all the time and use them in their newsletters, et cetera, is because they find that it helps them have more meaningful conversations with clients.   

Ben Jones – Were you surprised how many advisors started following your work, or was that the intended audience originally? 

Carl Richards – No, no, no, took totally — I mean I was talking to a friend about this yesterday. There’s nothing about the last 20 years that I could have planned, and all of it’s a surprise, and I’m still surprised, but surprised, humbled, honored, flattered, all of those words, because I think of the work that financial advisors do as critical. Like I’ve seen the difference that a real financial advisor makes. Like I can think of two very specific examples. I can even think of their names of people who didn’t follow advice of a real advisor and ended up in one spot and people who did and ended up in a completely different spot. And one of them is going to be working until they die and the other is fine and it didn’t need to be that way right. So I think of that work that advisors do is that strong and the fact that I can be in some small way helpful in that experience is thrilling to me and I’m super excited about it. So it’s been really fun.  

Matt Smith – On the front cover of Carl’s book, “Behavior Gap”, there’s a sketch called the “Fear and Greed Curve”. That’s often used by financial advisors. Carl talks about how advisors are using his sketches to aid in their communication with clients, and he starts by explaining this “Fear and Greed Curve” sketch.   

Carl Richards – Can you imagine like a roller coaster, and up at the top — it’s just the image of the stock market; we’ve all seen it. At the top it says “Greed Buy” and at the bottom it says “Fear Sell”, and then over on the right hand side of the image it says, “Repeat Until Broke”. Right. My goal with that image was — and I try to do this as often as I can. I don’t get it right very often, but when I do it’s really fun, it’s to allow people to see themselves in the image. Sort of like can we all joke together about this. And it is one of the — somebody pointed out to me that one of the geniuses of The Simpsons was that, no matter how dumb you were, Homer was always dumber, right. So I think of it that way. I love it when clients go, “oh yeah I’ve done that”. And I’ve had that story. I can think of specifically a firm, a company in St. Louis, one of the advisors there was telling me that he has that image. He printed it out on copy paper and just stuck it up on his wall or his credenza or whatever and a client came in. The advisor left to go get some water, he came back and the client had picked it up and was like sort of chuckling — it was a prospect actually — he was sort of chuckling and goes, you know what, this is why I’m here. Will you help me stop this. So those kind of stories — I mean other ones are a little more simple, just the image serves in terms of actual use, a lot of the advisors are using them for their social media tools. They’ll put them up on Twitter and a little comment. Their e-mail newsletters. The image will serve — they’ll write a newsletter article themselves and then they’ll go look through the library and find an image to insert that sort of represents what they had already written. So those are some of the ways people use them.   

Ben Jones – You talk about advisors ability to communicate as kind of the single most important differentiation between them and robo-advisors, and we hear a lot about robo-advisors, so could you kind of expand on your thought process there.   

Carl Richards – It seems in the industry it’s died down a little bit, but for a little while there, it was like people were really scared of the robo-advisors, this term. I don’t really even like the term, but automated investment services, and I think what’s actually happened is it’s just pushed — there’s obviously this group of real advisors that have known this for a long time, which is, look, everything that you can possibly do that can be algorithm’ed away is going to be algorithm’ed away. Let me give you an example. Imagine this conversation with a robo-advisor, right. I would like to — Mr. Robo-advisor — I would like to sell my diversified low-cost awesome designed portfolio that you built for me so I can pay down my 3.5% mortgage. And of course the robo-advisor’s response would be, huh. And the client would say, well because I feel like it. And the robo-advisor would say, but that’s not rational. It doesn’t fit in the spreadsheet. It doesn’t fit in the algorithm. And the client would say, but I feel like it. The robo-advisor would finally just have to shrug his shoulders and say, I understand this thing. But we all know and that’s just one silly example. We all know that there are plenty of times where a clients’ desires don’t fit in the spreadsheet.  

Ben Jones – Yeah, you can’t do an algorithm for feelings.   

Carl Richards – Yeah, no you can’t — real life doesn’t fit in an algorithm. Now that doesn’t mean that those are — if you view it that way, suddenly you’ve turned the tables and said, wait, these automated investment services are incredibly powerful tools for me. And I don’t have to be threatened by them.   

Ben Jones – It’s also so true that real financial advisors as you pointed, they deal with everything related wealth management, everything that involves time, planning, and money, and I think that so often people have a view that the financial advisors just providing them an investment allocation and I think the advisors that have got ahead of that for the last 20 years really are uniquely positioned today to help their clients through the decumulation phases as well.   

There’s just so much wrapped up in all of this. Accumulation, decumulation, spending, conversations between spouses, conversations with children. There’s so much wrapped into it that if the advisor puts themselves at the center of those experiences with clients, it’s just — it’s only getting more valuable and to be honest, it’s only getting to be a much better, more fulfilling job anyway, so I think it’s awesome.  

Ben Jones – You’ve had a lot of experiences with a lot of advisors. What do you think some of the most common mistakes you see advisors making in communication with their clients are and maybe do you have some suggestions on how people might avoid those?  

Carl Richards – Sure, and let me just first say that I know about these mistakes because I made them and continue to make them. So like we can all be humble about this. We’re all working together, but the first thing that we often do — and I’ll give you a really specific example — when clients come to your office — perspective clients — we’ll call them clients-to-be in our language and maybe we’ll call them prospects, right — when a client-to-be or a prospect comes to your office,, one of the biggest mistakes I see we’ve made is like what we’ve all been taught to do our whole lives, which is imagine you going on a first date with someone and the person you go out with on this first date, spends the first half hour talking about how great they are. Talking about where they went to school. It’s so interesting to watch as we’ve all sort of just decided, I think it’s out of a little bit – sort of a lack of clarity about our value that we provide, and sometimes even a low professional self-esteem because financial advisors just get beat up non-stop in the press, and when you’re a real financial advisors, it still hurts to see all the fake financial advisors making a bad name for you in the press. So what we do is, people show up for the first meeting, and we spend the first 15 minutes — here is my firm, I’ve got my CFP, we have this many clients, we have this much in AUM, we may even throw out some performance numbers. Normally we spend the first 15 minutes talking about how great we are. And the solution to that — and I’m just sort of — this is one of my missions the last couple of years — to just beg every advisor I ever talk to — please understand if they came to your office, you’ve already won the game, and what I mean by that is, think of all they overcame to come to your office. They overcame the fact that we don’t talk with anybody about money, and yet I’m coming to your office, a stranger, to talk about money. So there’s one. Number two, I’m certainly not going to talk to you, you crook and criminal, right. Like again lump it. Like based on what I’ve read in the newspaper, so they’ve overcome all of that and yet there they are, in your office. You at that point, need to be the professional. Be the doctor. I can’t remember any doctor I’ve ever met with — imagine a brain surgeon. I’m glad you’re here, Carl, today. I went to the University of Pennsylvania. I’ve operated on 612 people, only three have died. You know what I mean? It just would never — you would think something was wrong. So if we take that same approach, which is something like: Mr. and Mrs. Smith, thank you for being here today. It shows you’re really committed to making great financial decisions. Why don’t we eye them. And then you ask really great questions for the next 50 minutes to uncover their entire situation so that you can put together a game plan for them. And I think the reason we don’t do that is because we think we need to prove our value. You’re the doctor. You do not need to prove your credibility. They’re in your office. Do your thing.   

Ben Jones – What a great example of Carl’s mission. To make sure that advisors know their true value, the emotional connection and guidance that they can give their clients as human beings. Carl recently launched a mini-series on scary markets. With the increased volatility and high anxieties in the markets, advisors are looking for ways to talk to their clients about these topics. I asked Carl about the development of the scary market mini-series.   

Carl Richards – I mean it was just years and years and years of conversations about how to deal with scary markets. And scary markets can be anything from like a real life, a one day correction like we had a couple of weeks ago, to a full a bear market, to something happening in a client’s life. The mini-course which people can just — it’s free — it’s on behaviorgap.com, if you just go to the website, you can sign up and I’d love to hear what you think about it, but the mini-course is sort of focused on the internal dialogue we have to have with ourselves. Right, that we have to become convinced at sort of a gut level of the value that we provide. Right. So that’s number one. Number two is we have to understand our role. The role of a real advisor is to help people make unbelievably important decisions, critical decisions, in the face of irreducible uncertainty, right. That’s part of our job. And that takes a really unique emotional makeup, because we can’t be certain that our advice is going to go — in fact, we know our advice isn’t going to go exactly the way we think it’s going to go. The only thing we know about our financial plans is they’re wrong. Right.   

Ben Jones – Yeah.   

Carl Richards – We just don’t know which direction. And then the last part of the mini-course is just talking a little bit about the unique that advisors need to do to take care of themselves because if you understand your job is partially to be walking people in off the ledge when they’re thinking about doing something stupid, if you’re doing that continually and not taking care of yourself, it won’t be long before you’re out on the ledge, and that’s why I think we see such massive turnover in our industry. And I don’t want to see it any more. So those are some of the — that’s what this series of videos is up now. The manual for scary markets, we call it.   

Ben Jones – And we’ll put a link to that in the show notes so our audience can access it.  A lot of your work is focused on financial concepts, but even more so maybe just decision-making and life decision-making along with behavioral finance. Is this where kind of most of the value is in an advisor’s role, or is that just the natural progression of our industry.   

Carl Richards – Yeah, it’s so interesting once you start understanding that, right. Once you realize that your job isn’t to ask people 17 questions and plug them into a portfolio or find exactly the right life insurance, what really matters is the intersection between all of that stuff and this messy thing we call life.  And so I don’t even know how we separate this stuff we call life from money decisions.  They’re unbelievably intertwined.  A real financial plan incorporates somebody’s values.  How are you going to talk about values without talking about life, right?  I just think it’s been the natural progression of our industry and I think real financial planners around the world are starting to understand this real quickly that I’ve got to be having conversations with clients about values, goals, and then I go out and I marshal the collective resources at my disposal.  Whether it’s the big firm, whatever it is.  And I help find the products that will help the client reach their goal, not the opposite.  I don’t take a product and run around and try and smoosh clients into it.  I do the opposite, right?  So that’s why I think this whole discussion around life is so important.  And if you can be the one to, first of all, facilitate those conversations — I can’t tell you.  I’m sure all of your listeners have had this experience, where you’ve been in a meeting and a topic comes up between a couple that has been married for 10+ years.  And it’s as if they — you’re like, whoa, this is the first time you guys have discussed this?  And you’re like, I’ll be back, you guys talk a little bit.  But first, if we can help facilitate those discussions, and then second, if we can help teach them how to have them together and with kids and by themselves and with business partners, what a valuable — what a beautifully valuable thing we can provide.  

Matt Smith – One of the ways we can provide value to clients as their financial advisor is to simplify concepts so they’re easier to understand, with or without the use of visual aids like Carl’s sketches.   

Ben Jones – One of my favorite pieces that you’ve produced is Elegant Simplicity.  And I think it’s a great piece to kind of just describe what it is that you do for financial concepts.  I don’t know if you remember this, but you and I had coffee a couple years ago and the subject of retirement income came up.  I got into pontificating about my opinion and how I thought people should approach the topic as a process and not a product.  When I was finished, you were really polite, but you said, that’s way too complicated.  Now say it simply.  At the time, I don’t think — you probably realized you were just having coffee again with another financial guy, but it had a pretty big impact over the next couple years on the way I thought about how I was communicating concepts.  The reason I bring it up is that, often, simplification is kind of viewed as dumbing things down.  But when it’s done right, it’s a lot more powerful than that.  Why do you think it’s so much more powerful when it’s done right?  And do you have any guidelines or steps to kind of getting simplification right?  

Carl Richards – Yeah, for sure.  First of all, we should all give ourselves a little bit of a break.  We all do that, right?  That experience that you had with me, people have done it to me where they’re like, Carl, I don’t understand a word you’ve said.  And we particularly — I think it’s just a natural thing — I’m going to make an assumption about your audience.  There’s two ways I’ve always viewed this complexity addiction we have.  One is that it’s a sales tool.  And many of us were taught in the industry, if you came up through the insurance side of the industry or the investment side — no matter where you came up through, often you’re taught the sales trick that I’m going to dig a hole and throw the client into it and look down and say, hey, I’m the only one with the rope.  And obviously if that’s what we were taught, we need to stop that.  Nobody likes to be treated that way.  But I’m going to make an assumption about your audience that’s more the latter.  Which is, it’s just a natural progression.  What happens to us is we’re in an industry, we learn more.  We — over the course of our careers, we deal with more and more complex situations.  And we just naturally start to think that people care how smart we are.  And then you add to it with financial advisors, there is sort of a professional insecurity that we have as an industry.  And it’s easy to see why.  It’s because there’s no — the various ways to entry are pretty easy.  You’ve got people in our industry that should be selling shoes that are not.  You know what I mean?  All the fake advisors.  And they’re all the ones that get all the press, the negative press.  So we have to always be feeling like we’re a little defensive.  So we think that being smart, or at least showing people that we’re smart, is important.  This happens with attorneys right?  How many attorneys do you know that are more interested in crafting monuments to themselves than getting a document to get the work done, right?  Attorneys are no different than us and CPAs and real estate agents.  Everybody I know that deals with knowledge, is a knowledge worker, has this problem.  And all I’m begging you to believe — I’m begging you to believe me because this is the e-mail I get.  I’ve been writing a column for the New York Times for over six years.  I get an insane amount of e-mail from investors.  And the number one request I get, the number one complaint is all around the same thing: I didn’t understand a word they said.  Will you please tell them to be simpler?  Please.  So I’m begging you to believe me.  Just test it.  You are a professional.  You know — and even if you’re new in the industry, and if you’re working in an environment where you’re being taught financial planning and particularly if you’re a CFP or you’re studying for the CFP or CFA, any of those sorts of real intense designations, you’re a professional.  And what you’re doing is not simplistic.  I think we confuse these two.  A shoe salesman does stuff that’s simplistic.  What you’re doing is called elegant simplicity, and that — it’s best, I think, summed up with an Oliver Wendell Holmes quote where he said, “I wouldn’t give a fig” — and you heard me right.  “I wouldn’t give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I’d give my right arm for the simplicity on the other side.”  And what that means to me is, as a professional, you’ve gone through the complexity.  It’s okay for you, now, to draw it on the back of the napkin at lunch.  And I’m telling you, I have gone — I’ve been testing this theory for 10, 15, 20 years, because I keep getting this — this question is common, Ben, and it’s normal and natural for us to ask.  And it’s one I’ve asked myself.  But I’ve got asked it so much that I went searching for this place, this scary land called too simple where monsters live and if you go there, your career will end.  And I cannot find it.  I’ve gone to the simplest place in the world, and I cannot find it.  In fact, I have found, the simpler I make it, the better clients — the more clients will pay for it.  

Ben Jones – I want to shift gears a little bit.  You wrote a book recently, “The One Page Financial Plan.”  And while we’re on the topic of simplicity, as we say the words, one page financial plan, I’m sure there’s a lot of advisors saying, you can’t, it’s got to be 57 pages and have illustrations.  But what I found most interesting about it is you lay out some really practical advice about financial planning, and life, for that matter, that both investors and advisors could do a lot of good by heeding some of the concepts.  As I was going through the book, you had all these concepts.  And the one that I found most interesting you included was the role of human capital in the book.  The reason I bring that up is that there’s a lot of people that have written very extensive white papers on the topic of human capital.  You took a much simpler approach to understanding that.  But why do you believe advisors should be spending time discussing human capital with their clients?  

Carl Richards – It’s pretty simple, right?  It’s the single most valuable asset almost any of us have.  And it’s the work that we can do.  You think of the most valuable — I did a lot of research on that and we interviewed, back in the day, like 10 years ago, we did a bunch of work with doctors and dentists and we wrote a whole series of white papers on them.  And what we ended up finding — and this shouldn’t surprise anybody — is the most valuable asset a high-income professional has, especially early on in their career, is the present value of their future earnings.  And so that’s human capital.  There’s plenty of times — most of the best investments I’ve ever made are in my own — actually, all the best investments I’ve ever made are in my own human capital and has the obvious benefit of being under my control.  But we also have a tendency to be way over confident with investments in human capital and our ability to turn those investments into sort of positive ROI.  That’s why an advisor’s so helpful, to be able to say, wow that sounds like a great idea.  Go do it.  Or, hey, have you thought of this.  Or, hey, you know what, I have another client who recently did that.  Would you mind if I check with them if they’d be willing to talk to you?  All that stuff, the ability — it may be the best thing you could ever tell a client.  Maybe, hey, you know what, take the money from your portfolio and go do that.  The day you do that, you become trusted advisor for life because you care about the long-term overall relationship of the — the overall financial health of the client rather than the money you’re managing.  

Ben Jones – I think the way you frame it as — I’m sure I’ll get it wrong since it’s been a while since I read the book, but time, treasure, and talents.  Thinking of things and all of the things that you can bring to the table, not just the financial, really helps provide a much broader picture for the life and financial plan.  

Carl Richards – Yeah, well, thank you, that was the goal.  

Ben Jones – Carl provided us some great insights for moving beyond financial planning and helping clients understand the intersection of life, emotions and money.  He also gave us some great tips for simplifying our communications with clients.  Both of these things combined can lead to greater client sustainability and increased trust between you and your clients.  Carl leaves us with a parting plea to advisors to realize their true strengths and value.  

Carl Richards – We all have things that we’re good at.  And whether they came naturally or it’s because we’ve been working on it for 10 years, you have incredible value to offer.  And the reason the secret society of real financial advisors is secret, is because many of us don’t have the time or — and this is the one that pains me — maybe we don’t believe that we have something valuable to tell the world about.  And I just wanted one last sort of begging situation.  I just want to beg your audience to believe me.  That story you told today to that new client about diversification and the way you told it is insanely valuable.  Would you please write it down or just record it and send it out to the world?  Just one piece at a time?  Because you have something valuable, your experience — I know you know.  The reason you don’t believe it is because you’re humble and because it comes naturally to you.  Or you’ve been doing it so long, it’s just sort of second nature, so you think, oh, everybody does this.  Everybody knows this.  They don’t.  And so please don’t forget that.  And that’s how the images are for me.  I finally realized, oh, not everybody thinks this way.  It must be valuable.  I’ll keep doing it.  Just please believe me how valuable you are and the work you do is making a difference.  People don’t believe that you exist, real financial advisors.  And so keep sharing experiences one by one by one.  Keep giving people remarkable experiences.  And by remarkable, I mean worth remarking about to their friends, because we have to change this.  It’s just getting silly and it’s not getting any better and there you are, the solution to the — there should be a line outside your door.  Just keep doing the work so we can make a little dent in the universe together.  

Ben Jones – Thanks for joining us, Carl.  

Carl Richards – It was a pleasure.  Thanks for having me.  

Matt Smith – To connect with Carl’s work, you can visit his website at behaviorgap.com, where you can sign up for the free newsletter and course on some of the topics we discussed today.  Also, be sure to check out the show notes at bmogam.com/betterconversations, where you can see his elegant simplicity sketch, as well as links to Carl’s books, his New York Times column, and other information about topics we discussed today.  

Ben Jones – Tell us what you thought of today’s episode by e-mailing us at betterconversations@bmo.com.  We also have a copy of Carl’s book, “The One Page Financial Plan”, for the first five people to leave us a review in iTunes, starting now.  Thanks to Carl Richards for making time to chat with us on the show today.  Production of this episode wouldn’t be possible without the people at Freedom Podcasting as well as our team here at BMO Global Asset Management, Pat Bordak, Gayle Gibson, and Matt Perry.  

Ben Jones – Thanks for listening to Better conversations. Better outcomes. This podcast is presented by BMO Global Asset Management.  To learn more about what BMO can do for you, go to bmogam.com/betterconversations.  

Matt Smith – We hope you found something of value in today’s episode.  And if you did, we encourage you to subscribe to the show and leave us a rating and review on iTunes.  And of course, the greatest compliment of all is if you tell your friends and co-workers to tune in.  Until next time, I’m Matt Smith.  

Ben Jones – And I’m Ben Jones.  From all of us at BMO Global Asset Management, hoping you have a productive and wonderful week.  

Disclosure – The views expressed here are those of the participants and not those of BMO Global Asset Management, its affiliates, or subsidiaries. This is not intended to serve as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any company, industry, or security.  This presentation may contain forward-looking statements.  Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements, as actual results could vary.  This presentation is for general information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice and is not intended as an endorsement of any specific investment product or service.  Individual investors should consult with an investment professional about their personal situation.  Past performance is not indicative of future results.  BMO Asset Management Corp is the investment advisor to the BMO funds.  BMO Investment Distributors LLC is the distributor.  Member FINRA SIPC.  BMO Asset Management Corp and BMO Investment Distributors are affiliated companies.  Further information can be found at www.bmo.com. 

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